As I prepared to plant ‘The Bridge’ in Simcoe ON, I began analyzing the needs of the church and community. Understanding that the church is the people and not a building, I observed a missing link. I found that many people were afraid to ask questions regarding their faith or walk with the Lord. Nobody wanted to seem ‘dumb’ or ‘immature’ in their faith. And, there never seemed to be an opportunity for those individuals to be in an environment where they felt comfortable enough to share.
Sunday services aren’t really interactive. Yes, we have the opportunity to participate in singing, and possibly reading a liturgy together, but these services aren’t really set up for individuals to ask questions, or engage in their learning. Traditionally, we passively listen to a message, and should we have questions about that message, we have to write them down and seek out the pastor after the service. Or, at least try to follow up during the week and try not to forget. Please don’t misunderstand me, I value these types of services, but I find that we need to do more.
We must create an atmosphere and environment where individuals can grow in their faith. This is why we focus on life groups at The Bridge. Often, traditional churches experience difficulties in creating small groups. Much of the past approaches to ‘church’ has been focusing on a Sunday public service. Once this has been done, the focus next turns to bible studies, small groups, various programs, and so on. It almost seems that gathering the people tends to take priority over investing in the people- the church. So, at The Bridge we decided to create small groups—life groups—first. The responses were amazing!
I’ve said this before; public church services don’t always lead to discipleship models, but discipleship models almost always lead to public services. Our goal at The Bridge, is to create those environments for others to grow…grow in their relationship with Jesus and with others. To learn what it looks like to be discipled, to disciple, to encourage others, to share with others, and pray with/for others.
If you would like to learn more about how and why we do things differently, message us. We’d be happy to share! If you are longing for this type of environment, come join our life groups. All are welcome!
From time to time, Rev D posts random thoughts about life as a Pastor and Servant of Christ. He has a unique perspective. Blog entries are posted randomly.